Compiled by Tina L. Hanlon
|Appalachian Folktale Collections A - J||Appalachian Folktale Collections K - Z (by author/editor)|
|Folktales Reprinted in AppLit||Appalachian Folktales in General Collections, Journals, and Web Sites|
|AppLit Home||Back to Folktale Bibliography Index|
|Indicates books that are readily available and more accessible to children than others on this page.|
Many individual tales from some of these collections
are described in AppLit's
Index of Appalachian Tales.
The term folktale is used very broadly on these pages to include many kinds of folklore retellings or adaptations in books, recordings, dramas, and films. Some material on ballads and folk songs is included, but mostly prose narratives from folklore (see Complete List of AppLit Pages on Music).
Appalachian Folktale Collections A - J
Adams, James Taylor. Grandpap Told Me Tales: Memories of an Appalachian Childhood. Ed. Fletcher Dean. Big Stone Gap, VA: F. Dean, 1993. Introduction by Edward L. Henson. 240 pp. (Some tales collected by Adams are in AppLit's Fiction and Poetry section.) Reviewed by Charles Perdue Jr. in Appalachian Journal, vol. 21 (Spring 1994).
Adams, James Taylor, ed. Death in the Dark: A Collection of Factual Ballads of American Mine Disasters with Historical Notes by James Taylor Adams. Big Laurel, VA: Adams-Mullins Press, 1941. This collection of folk ballads is based on disastrous coal mine explosions in and around the Appalachian Mountains. All the ballads include historical accounts of the catastrophes being referred to, and the histories are written by Adams or taken directly from letters to him from correspondents. In the Foreword, Adams describes the process of collecting these ballads and shares his personal struggles endured while periodically working in the coal mines. Death in the Dark is a chilling collection of valuable folklore with an emphasis on real life in the coal mines. (Notes by Michelle Vincent)
Arneach, Lloyd. Long-Ago Stories of the Eastern Cherokee. Illus. Elizabeth Ellison. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2008. 128 pp. Arneach is a native Cherokee professional storyteller. See this link to Arneach's web site for Table of Contents and other details.
Seeking the Corn-Mother's Wisdom. Golden, CO: Fulcrum,
1993. A blend of story, essay, and poetry by a Cherokee/Appalachian writer.
A retelling of "The Origin of Corn" (pp. 10-14) provides a spiritual
"compass" in the book.
Barden, Thomas E., ed. Virginia Folk Legends. Charlottesville: Univ. Press of VA, 1991. A selection of 150 legends from the previously unpublished materials collected by the Virginia Writer's Project of the WPA from 1937 to 1942. See Molly Mulhollun.
Blanton, Curtis R.. Tales from the Porch: Tall Tales and Short Stories from the North Carolina Mountains. Illus. James C. Sellers. Norris, TN: Curtis R. Blanton, 2006.
Bolton, W. Lewis. Smoky Mountain Jack Tales of Winter and Old Christmas. Illus. Terry Nell Morris. Xlibris, 2015. 350 pp. "Twenty Jack Tales, based on traditional folk and fairy tales, plus an extra tale, 'The Legend of Stingy Jack.' Nine seasonal stories are adventures with Giants, a Witch, Trolls, and Death. Bonus Tales feature a heifer hide, a bear, moonshine, golden eggs, a ball of butter, a King’s ring, and a lost ax.... These are fun performance tales for reading aloud at home or in public, for oral interpretation, or re-told in your own words. Primarily for older youth and grownups, these varied tales are for readers and storytellers who already know and love Jack and those about to make a new friend." Bolton includes detailed notes on Jack Tales, his regional and international resources for each of his tales (from Aesop's fables to Russian fairy tales), and his experience directing family performances since 1987 at the Smoky Mountain Jack Tales Storytelling Theater in the Smoky Mountains National Park (you can watch many of their performances in YouTube). Book trailer in Facebook.
Bradley, Ramona K. Weavers of Tales: A Collection of Cherokee Legends. Published by the author, 1967. Rpt. Cherokee, NC: Betty Dupree. No date given in book if this is a reprint later than 1967. With sepia drawings by the author, wife of an Eastern Cherokee, and several photos. Includes an introduction on prominent Cherokee storytellers (especially A'yn'ini or Swimmer, the main informant for Mooney's 19th-century records of tales), a Foreword on the land of the Cherokee and a page in the back called "Cherokee Sounds," for pronouncing Cherokee names. The 24 tales include creation tales on the world and the Indian, "Keepers of the Secrets" (about shamans and Little People), "Origin of Strawberries, "The First Fire," and "The Milky Way." Kanati appears in "The Four-footed Tribe." Some tales include historical figures such as Nancy Ward in "War-Women or Pretty-Women."
Brown, Stephen D. Haunted Houses of Harpers Ferry. Illus. Joseph D. Osmann. Harpers Ferry, WV: The Little Brown House, 1976. "It is said that ghosts and phantom figures roam where the gently rolling hills of Western Maryland and Northern Virginia meet West Virginia's craggy borders at Harpers Ferry. The area is rich in history with Civil War battlegrounds, old homes, and even older legends. It is in this area that these tales of mysterious shadows, ghosts and haunted houses are told" (Introduction).
Brush, Frederic. Hill Doctor: Tells in Story and Ballads, Tales of the Appalachians. Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press, 1956. 142 pp.
Burchill, James V., Linda J. Crider, Peggy Kendrick, and Marcia Wright Bonner. Ghosts and Haunts from the Appalachian Foothills. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 1993. Scary tales collected by members of the First Draft Writers Group of rural North Georgia, with introduction but no specific source notes.
Burchill, James V, and Linda J. Crider. Specters and Spirits of the Appalachian Foothills. Nashville: Rutledge Hill Press, 2002. 182 pp.
Burton, Thomas G, and Ambrose N. Manning, eds. A Collection of Folklore by Undergraduate Students of East Tennessee State University. Johnson City: Research Advisory Council, East Tennessee State University, 1966. 80 pp. Rev. ed. 1970. Includes "Riddles and Friendship Verses. A Collection of Riddles" by Patsy Buck as well as sections on ghosts, macabre folklore, tall tales, legends, and other folktales and types of folklore. Material collected by students with little analysis or editing. Review by Michael Owen Jones in Journal of American Folklore, vol. 81 (1968): pp 161-164.
Tales from the Cloud Walking Country. Indiana UP, 1958. Rpt. Athens:
U of George Press, 2000. Seventy-eight tales collected by the author when she
taught in a small eastern Kentucky settlement school and traveled in the area
from 1926 into the 1940s. B/W illustrations (one for each chapter) are
by Clare Leighton. "Most of the tales [brought from Europe] are what
folklorists call Marchen, a German word for what the ordinary reader
or storyteller calls a 'fairy tale'. . . This book of tales, making up somewhat
less than half of the total group of Marchen which I collected in Kentucky,
were all told me by six 'right main tale-tellers' who not only had 'a fine sleight
at tale-telling' but who also had 'a bigger store of olden tales for the telling.'"
These tellers told Campbell that "Tale telling is nigh about faded out
in the mountain country," that ghost stories and local legends were still
told at parties or work gatherings, but Campbell was the sole audience for these
tellings of the European tales. Older people usually felt that the folk tales
or ballads "belonged to be told or sung, not put down in writing,"
but some tellers said it's better to write them down to preserve tradition than
to forget them. These Appalachian tellers often express skepticism at magical
or implausible elements in the tales. Campbell worked on organizing the tales
with Stith Thompson at Indiana University in the 1950s (Introduction, 9, 14). One
chapter is devoted to each of the six tellers, with introductions to each one.
Notes with tale types and parallels are given for each tale. Cloud
Walking (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1942) contains more realistic
stories of mountain life in KY.
Carden, Gary, Nina Anderson (contributor), and Jerry Bledsoe, ed. Belled Buzzards, Hucksters & Grieving Spectres: Strange & True Tales of the Appalachian Mountains. Asheboro, NC: Down Home Press, 1994. "Quirky" and "bizarre" tales heard by storyteller/playwright Gary Carden in childhood.
Carden, Gary. Mason Jars in the Flood and Other Stories. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers, 2000. Most are realistic and personal stories by a NC storyteller, but some are based on folklore, especially in the section called "The Granny Stories." See review, cover and ordering information at Tannery Whistle.Com. The title story is at http://tannerywhistle.com/story.html.
Carden, Gary. Tannery Whistle.Com: Folk Stories in Words and in Paint. Includes Carden's versions of some Cherokee Myths and Legends. Also contains information on books, videos, plays and narrative folk paintings by this North Carolina storyteller and playwright. http://tannerywhistle.com.
Carter, Isobel Gordon. "Mountain White Folk-Lore: Tales from the Southern Blue Ridge." Journal of American Folklore 38 (1925): pp. 340-74. A landmark article containing Jack tales told by Jane Hicks Gentry (1863-1925), recorded by Carter in 1923. Carter also published riddles, many of which were from Jane Hicks Gentry in 1923, in "Mountain White Riddles" in vol. 47, No. 183 (Jan. - Mar. 1934), pp. 76-80. See Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit. Full text available online through library services such as JSTOR.
Cartmell, Connie. Ghosts of Marietta. Marietta, Ohio: Marty's Print Shop, 1996. Cartmell invites readers to "snuggle into your favorite chair in front of a crackling fire, lower the lights, and enjoy 15 strange, quirky, sometimes even chilling stories about people you know and places you may pass every day, places that are part of the rich and diverse fabric of historic Marietta" (Preface, p. 10).
Chappel, Louis. John Henry: A Folk-Lore Study. Jena, Germany: Frommer, 1933. Rpt. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1968. A scholarly study with many versions of the ballad and hammer song (see also Guy Johnson below).
Chase, Richard. American Folk Tales and Songs, and Other Examples of English-American Tradition as Preserved in the Appalachian Mountains and Elsewhere in the United States. Illus. Joshua Tolford. New York: Dover, 1956, rpt. 1971. In the first half of the book are groups of Ancient Tales (including "Wicked John and the Devil" and "The Haunted House"), Five Jack Tales, The Foolish Irishman Tales (from southwestern Virginia), and Tall Tales. "Mister Fox" is a variant of "Pretty Polly."
Richard. Grandfather Tales. Illus. Berkeley Williams, Jr. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1948. Contains 25 tales and a few songs, with a frame story
in which friends and family tell stories to each other and a visiting folklorist
all night. This collection devotes almost as much attention to female
storytellers and characters as to males. For more on these tales, see AppLit's
Annotated Index of Folktales:
Wicked John and the
Devil, Mutsmag, Whitebear
Old Sow and the Three Shoats, How
Bobtail Beat the Devil, Old
Dry Frye, Catskins,
Meat Loves Salt, Soap,
Soap, Soap!, The
Two Old Women's Bet, Old
One-Eye (and others may be added later). See Appalachian
Christmas Books for Children and Young Adults for more on the frame story
set on Old Christmas-Eve. See also Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit.
Chase, Richard. The Jack Tales. Illus. Berkeley Williams, Jr. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1943. Chase heard the Jack tales first from the Ward family, descendants of the earliest settlers of NC, who told the tales among their family and friends for entertainment and for "keeping the kids on the job" during chores. Both Chase collections contain notes on sources and variants. They made Appalachian folktales known to the rest of the country, and remain among the most popular folktale collections in America. For details on individual tales, see AppLit's Annotated Index of Folktales: Jack Tales. Photos of Richard Chase at Ferrum College. See list of tales in Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit.
Cherokee Folk Tales. 3 vols. Tahlequah, OK: Cherokee Bilingual Education Program, 1973-1974. Listed in WorldCat as a bilingual illustrated children's book.
Chiltoskey, Mary Ulmer. Aunt Mary, Tell Me A Story: A Collection of Cherokee Legends and Tales. Ed. Mary Regina Ulmer Galloway. Illus. Lib Lambert, John Barton Galloway, and Goingback Chiltoskey. Cherokee, NC: Cherokee Communications, 1990. Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey went to Cherokee, NC as a teacher. In 1989 she became an honorary member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, after nearly 50 years in Cherokee as a history teacher, librarian, wife of artist Goingback Chiltoskey, beloved storyteller, community activist, and craftsperson. For this book, her niece retold the stories she loved best as a child, when Aunt Mary told the stories she learned from the Cherokee. The book contains background on the Cherokee and the nature of living myths and legends. The truths these stories contain "teach about the animals and men created by the Great One" (p. 2). Twenty-eight tales, including "The Legend of the Strawberries, "The Legend of the Cherokee Rose" and "The Legend of the Corn Beads," "How the Water Spider Captured Fire," "How the Bat and Flying Squirrel Got their Wings," and "The Legend of the Milky Way," are accompanied by drawings by several Cherokee artists.
Craig, Idell, ed. Cherokee Myths: Morals & Values. Illus. Catherine Pearson. 2 vols. Tulsa, OK: Envelopes Plus, 1991. "Reproduction of authentic traditional Cherokee myths from reports of the Bureau of American Ethnology" (WorldCat).
Crawford, Joe C, and Ken Woodall. Mountain Shadow Memories. Clayton, GA: Laurel Mountain Press, 2013. "Family Folk Lore and 'Almost True' tales from Southern Appalachia...spanning a century." Includes paintings by folk artist Ken Woodall.
Credle, Ellis. Tall Tales From the High Hills. E. M. Hale, 1957.
Crites, Susan. Confederate Ghosts. Martinsburg, WV: Butternut, 1994. Stories based on recent sightings of ghosts, collected by a seventh-generation West Virginian.
Crites, Susan. Lively Ghosts of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Martinsburg, WV: Butternut, 1991. Five tales selected from those collected throughout the eastern panhandle by the author, with line drawings and a map by the author, a seventh-generation West Virginian. The introduction comments on widespread beliefs in ghosts among West Virginians. Includes brief notes on the author's experiences with people and places involved in the tales.
Crites, Susan. More Lively Ghosts. Martinsburg, WV: Butternut, 1992. Stories based on recent sightings of ghosts, collected by a seventh-generation West Virginian.
Crites, Susan. Union Ghosts. Martinsburg, WV: Butternut, 1993. Stories based on recent sightings of ghosts, collected by a seventh-generation West Virginian.
Crockett, Davy. See AppLit bibliography Davy Crockett and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett.
Cunningham, Maggi. The Cherokee Tale-Teller. Illus. Patrick DesJarlait. Minneapolis: Dillon Press, 1978. 158 pp. "Contents: Atagahi, the wonderful lake. - Selu Corn Woman and the crows. - Deer song. - Princess of the deer .- The monster utlunta. - Desata and the forever boy. - The fire watcher .- The red bird .- Tlanuwa, the great hawk. - The Nunnehi, the gentle people" (WorldCat). Cataloged as a juvenile book.
Curry, Mary Lucinda. Booger Hole: Mysteries, Ghost Tales and Strange Occurrences. Maysel, WV: Printed by Frog Pond Printery, 1990. Clay County, WV legends and ghost stories.
Dadisman, Kenny. Shooting the Bull: A Collection of Barbour County Folklore. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1996. During the Great Depression, the people of Barbour found ways to make life easier. "It was out of this necessity to laugh that some of the most exciting and funniest stories were born. Our intent in this book is to pass on and keep alive some of this Barbour County folklore, as it was passed down to us" (Introduction).
Darnell, Jack. The Book That Jack Built: Original Appalachian Tales. Illus. Nick Yuratich. Coker Creek Creations, 2010. 124 pp. "A collection of Appalachian folk tales inspired by the traditional 'Jack Tales."' The illustrator was age 10. The book is advertised as following in the tradition of Appalachian folktales such as Jack Tales. "Several of the stories have historical significance, and each story teaches a life lesson as it entertains. Jack began writing as a gift to the children of his friends in the rural Tennessee sewing factory where he worked for over 30 years. He continues writing for all children. His regard for the talents of children doesn't stop with his stories. The illustrations throughout the book and the cover art were created by ten-year-old fans. 'It's just a shame that William Bennett didn't have Jack Darnell's stories when he wrote his Book of Virtues' - Mary K. Barnwell, M. Ed."
Davenport, Henry B. Tales of the Elk and Other Stories. Gauley Bridge, WV: Thomas Imprints, 1992. Originally published in 1942 as two volumes, the current book combines Parts I and II. "This book is a collection of short stories and anecdotes about the Elk River Valley and Clay County, West Virginia" ("About the Author").
Davenport, Tom, and Gary Carden. From the Brothers Grimm:
A Contemporary Retelling of American Folktales and Classic Stories. Fort
Atkinson, WI: Highsmith, 1992. Stories with photographs from 10 fairy
tale films set in Appalachia. See also Bibliography of Davenport
Fairy Tale Films and list in Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit. The films are available for free streaming from the filmmaker at From the Brothers Grimm (and clips are available at YouTube.com).
Davis, Donald. Jack Always Seeks His Fortune: Authentic
Appalachian Jack Tales. Little Rock: August House, 1992. Also published
by August House as Southern Jack Tales, 1997. With an Introduction
by Joseph Daniel Sobol as well as "Foreword: I Grew Up Close to Jack,"
and brief introduction to each tale by Davis. On the thirteen Jack Tales in
this collection, Davis writes, "Out of the nearly three dozen Jack tales
which I can recall, most presented in this collection have, I believe, either
not been published in their Appalachian manifestations or are so different from
any extant version as to make comparison interesting rather than repetitious. The
deliberate exception to this principle is 'The Time Jack Got His First Job,'
a common tale included so that those acquainted with the genre may compare it
and the 'Lazy
Jack' versions they know" (Foreword, p. 27). "The First Time Jack Came to America" is reprinted at
http://www.mwg.org. Other tales included:
"I Grew up Close to Jack," "Time Jack Went to Seek his Fortune,"
"Time Jack Told a Big Tale," "Time
Jack Got his First Job," "Time Jack Fooled the Miller," "Time
Jack Cured the Doctor," "Time
Jack Got the Silver Sword," "Time
Jack Learned about Old and New," "Time Jack Stole the Cows,"
"Time Jack Helped the King Catch his Girls," "Time Jack Got
the Wishing Ring," "Time Jack Solved
the Hardest Riddle," "Time Jack Went up in the Big Tree."
Davis has also produced oral
recordings of some of his tales. See Jack and the Animals
and The Pig
Who Went Home on Sunday ("The Three Little Pigs") for notes on
picture books and recordings by Davis. See also Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit.
Davis, Donald. Listening for the Crack of Dawn. Little Rock: August House, 1990. "A master storyteller recalls the Appalachia of the 50's and 60's" (front cover). A former Methodist minister and professional storyteller records his original stories based on his childhood in a small mountain town in NC. Includes a story of Christmas in Sulphur Springs.
Davis, Donald. My Lucky Day: Tales from a Southern Appalachian Story Teller. Illus. Rebekah Russell. Murfreesboro, NC: Johnson Pub., 1983. 112 pp. Tall tales, memories, and family stories.
Davis, Hubert J. 'Pon my honor, hit's the truth: Tall Tales from the Mountains. Illus. Carolee Jackson. Murfreesboro, NC: Johnson Pub., ?1973. Virginia folklore. 112. pp.
Davis-Darnley, Diane. Hauntingly Good Tales of the Ohio Valley. Wheeling, WV: Home Typing Service, 1998. Ghost stories of the Ohio River Valley and WV.
Deitz, Dennie. The Greenbrier Ghost and Other Strange Stories. South Charleston, WV: Mountain Memories Books, 1990. Also recorded as audiobook, 1990. Through Deitz's "travels around the state, as a West Virginia book distributor, observing and writing, he has periodically heard strange stories that he has instinctively known he does not want to recreate, but just record as close to the actual storytellers' versions as possible. Here Mr. Deitz has stepped beyond the realm of author into that of folklorist. These 'strange stories,' as he labels them, contain similar traits. They are not created through the storytellers' imaginations, but believed by the storytellers to be true. Usually, they are encounters that the storytellers have actually had with ghosts or other supernatural phenomena. The stories are direct, simplistic in structure, and localized in setting" (Introduction, Judy P. Byers, vii). See excerpt "The Greenbrier Ghost" with photos in Ghosts section of teaching unit West Virginia's Appalachian Music and Literature (now within AppLit).
Deitz, Dennie. The Greenbrier Ghost #2 and Other Strange Stories. South Charleston, WV: Mountain Memories Books, 1998. In the Introduction to the collection, Linda Good writes, "Travel now with Mr. Deitz on the wings of his written words to another exciting adventure in the world of premonitions, legends, the supernatural and ghosts" (vii).
Deitz, J. Dennis. The Greenbrier Ghost III: Featuring Stories About the Braxton County Green Monster. South Charleston, WV: Mountain Memories Books, 2003.
Digital Library of Appalachia. Appalachian College Association. A collection of digital reproductions of print, visual, audio and video items from archives in colleges affiliated with ACA. Includes audio of storytellers such as Ray Hicks and Loyal Jones telling Jack Tales, audio versions of tales collected in 1949 and published by Leonard Roberts.
Duncan, Barbara R., ed. Living Stories of the Cherokee. Chapel Hill: Univ. of NC Press, 1998. Foreword by Joyce Conseen Dugan, Principal Chief, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. With stories told by Davy Arch, Robert Bushyhead, Edna Chekelelee, Marie Junaluska, Kathi Smith Littlejohn, and Freeman Owle. Contains detailed introductions to each storyteller and Cherokee culture. The stories are transcribed in this book in a free verse form that represents the storytellers' "rhythmic style," using the "oral poetics" method developed in the 1970s. For details on some of the many tales in this volume, see Native American Tales from Appalachia.
Duncan, Barbara R., ed. The Origin of the Milky Way & Other Living Stories of the Cherokee. Caravan book. Illus. Shan Goshorn. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. 133 pp. Stories by Davey Arch, Robert Bushyhead, Edna Chekelelee, Kathi Littlejohn, Freeman Owle, and Swimmer, with background on Cherokee history, lands, traditions and storytellers. The tales are divided into 7 sections, each labeled "Living with". . . People, Animals, Plants and the Earth, Spirits, Monsters, Cherokee Language, the Past and the Future. "Presented by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in their own words, the stories appear in free-verse form, like poems on the page, so that if you read them aloud, you can hear the rhythm of the stories as they were originally told." Author interview, excerpts, reviews and other material available at UNC Press web site.
Duncan, Barbara R., ed. Where It All Began: Cherokee Creation Stories in Art. Cherokee, NC: Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 2001. Companion book to a museum exhibit. Creation stories are retold throughout the book with photographs of art in different media by 14 Cherokee artists. Includes Swimmer's telling of "How the World Was Made," "The Origin of Strawberries" by Freeman Owle, Davy Arch's carved mask with his "The Old Man and the Birds—The Origin of the Blowgun," an Uktena story, a painting of Wild Boy from tales of Selu and Kana'ti, Freeman Owle's stone carvings with his remarks on storytelling at the exhibit's opening reception (Nov. 2000) and images of the water spider from The First Fire. Also includes overview of the museum by Museum Director Ken Blankenship, introduction to the exhibit by curator B. Lynne Harlan, "Storytelling Among the Contemporary Cherokee" by Duncan.
Ellington, Charlotte Jane. Dancing Leaf. Johnson City, Tenn: Overmountain Press, 2007. A novel in which "authentic Cherokee legends begin each chapter and are woven into the adventures of Dancing Leaf, a character based on the adopted daughter of Cherokee chieftainess Nancy Ward" (Worldcat). They include one about how the possum got a bare tail, "The Uktena," "Why Turtle's Shell is Scarred," "The Legend of the Strawberries," "The Daughter of the Sun," and others. See AppLit's list of Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit.
Erbsen, Wayne. Log Cabin Pioneers: Stories, Songs & Sayings. Asheville, NC: Native Ground Music, 2001. Erbsen's "personal story as well as a collection of authentic stories, songs, and sayings" (p. 8), including a few children's games and jump rope rhymes, pages on many song and legends such as "Frankie Silvers" and "Me and Davy Crockett," folk remedies, insults, and short pieces on many other areas of log cabin folk life from the 1700s to the 1940s. Erbsen, a native of California and creator of many books, scores, and recordings of folk music, moved to Asheville in 1972.
Ford, Lyn. Affrilachian Tales: Folktales from the African-American Appalachian Tradition. Little Rock: Parkhurst Brothers, 2012. An experienced storyteller from southern Ohio collected 18 tales from her family's traditions. Categories are "Critters" (including "Why Possum's Tail is Bare"), "Folks," "Spooks and Haints." Includes background on the author's family history, on poet Frank X Walker's creation of the term Affrilachian in Kentucky, references to other Affrilachian storytellers, and notes on each tale.
Ford, Lyn. Beyond the Briar Patch: Affrilachian Folktales, Food, and Folklore. Marion, Mich.: Parkhurst Brothers, 2014. Categories are "Critters," "Folks," "Four Tales of John," "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife" (in prose and verse as told and sung by Lyn's father), "Spookers and Haints," a Sense of Place and Time: And One Last Story" (about Ford's great-grandmother and her story "Love and Death"). Includes background on the author's family history, reference to poet Frank X Walker's creation of the term Affrilachian in Kentucky, references to other Affrilachian storytellers in addition to her family, an interview with the author, a glossary, and notes on each tale. Tales that deal with slavery are included. For details on one of the tales, see "Jack Finds His Fear," in "See Also" section of "Soldier Jack" page.
Foxfire. Magazines and books in which teachers and students have collected Appalachian folklore since 1966. Foxfire is also a play, a museum, and a center for materials on collaborative teaching and learning. Mountain City, GA.
Garrett, J. T. and Michael Garrett. Medicine of the Cherokee: The Way of Right Relationships. Rochester, VT: Bear & Co., 1996. Includes Cherokee tales such as "Spider Woman" and "The Legend of the Strawberries."
Garrett, Michael. Walking on the Wind: Cherokee Teachings for Harmony and Balance. Rochester, VT: Bear & Co., 1998. Includes Cherokee tales such as "Sun and Moon" and "Why Turtle's Shell is Scarred."
Gates, Carmaletta Harris. Granny Stories: North Carolina Mountain Tales: A Collection of Stories. Sylva, NC: Carmaletta Gates, 2005. One tale from this book, "The Painter and the Spinnin' Wheel" is printed in Harris' web site. It tells about Grandma keeping a panther at bay during the night by making a strange noise with her spinning wheel.
Gentry, Jane. In Smith, Betty N. Jane Hicks Gentry: A Singer Among Singers. Lexington: Univ. Press of KY, 1998. Foreword by Cecilia Conway. 226 pp. Reprints 14 Jack tales, 71 songs (most of them recorded by British folklorist Cecil Sharp, whose manuscripts were re-analyzed), a discography of Gentry's daughter Maud Long, photographs, and discussion of Gentry's music, storytelling, and life (1863-1925). Reviewed by James Porter in Review of Folklore, vol. 113 (Apr. 2002): pp.107+. Also reviewed by Chris Goertzen in Notes, vol. 56 (Mar. 2000): p. 738.
Gibbons, Faye. Hook Moon Night: Spooky Tales from the Georgia Mountains. Illus. Ronald Himler. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1997. "A collection of eight hair-raising yarns told by mountain people in Georgia while sitting on their front porch many miles from the nearest electric lights and indoor plumbing."
Gilbert, E. Reid. Trickster Jack: New Jack Tales. Illus. Garrett Clark. Tucson, Arizona : Wheatmark. 2009. Ebook: A3D Impressions, 2018. Includes twelve original Jack Tales and a language/storytelling game called The Jack Game. From About the Author: "Drawing on stories from his own childhood on a dirt farm in North Carolina and his subsequent work in the Appalachian Mountains, E. Reid Gilbert spins together traditional stories, songs, and tall tales. Dr. Gilbert studied storytelling with Richard Chase, author of The Jack Tales, as well as mime and Asian theatre ... He has served as director of Valley Ridge Theatre in Thomas, West Virginia, and is professor emeritus at Ohio State University."
Goodman, Linda. Daughters of the Appalachians: Six Unique Women. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1999. Six stories from Goodman's performances of characters she based on various Appalachian women. "Jessie" is about a girl who gets the man she wants by buying a spell from a conjur man in the woods who mysteriously disappears after she asks him for a second potion that has disastrous effects.
Gregory, Jack, and Rennard Strickland. Cherokee Spirit Tales: Tribal Folklore, Legend and Myth. Illus. Willard Stone. Fayetteville, Ark.: Indian Heritage Association, 1969. 46 pp. "Collectors autographed first edition." "Limited edition of 1000 copies" (WorldCat).
Griffin, Peggy Ann. Talking Treasures. Illus. Darrell Pulliman. Chicago: Scribes, 1995. Collection of five African American folktales from far southwest Virginia. Griffin's Foreword says, "I know my grandparents and great-grandparents only through the treasure chest of stories that were left by them with my parents." She describes the tales "as oral tradition, family conversation pieces and moral instructors." Several of them, especially "Shilda" and "Billy's Birthday," have the flavor of Aesop's fables or nineteenth-century cautionary tales in which horrible fates that befall disobedient or foolish characters are narrated bluntly. Very little dialect is used in the text except for names such as Miz Lane.
"To the Fair" is about Mr. Frog and Mr. Turtle going to the County Fair at the village of Gap. This is a pourquoi tale about how frog voices changed from "mellow, smooth voices" to croaking ones, when Mr. Snake swallows Mr. Frog but he jumps out during a belch.
In "The Magnificent Butterfly," a proud butterfly searches the world for flowers that suit him, but loses strength when he struggles to return to the milkweed at home in Linger, VA.
In "Shilda," a nine-year-old girl who has trouble following rules ("the prettiest little girl in the Black Valley Bottom") disobeys her mother, wanders in the woods, and is thought to have been eaten by a bear for six months, after her clothes and braid are found. In the sentimental ending, a poor orphan girl is adopted by Shilda's family, and when Shilda returns, the woman who had cared for her is taken in as a grandmother figure in the household.
Billy in "Billy's Birthday" wants to be grown up, but his father tries to explain the limitations of independence at age nine. Grandpa Lane tells a neighbor's story about a boy who was allowed to do whatever he wanted on his ninth birthday. His father let him jump off the roof and he was killed. Billy is convinced that adults say "no" to protect children, and has a happy birthday party.
"Uphill Downhill" is a humorous tale of family fun, when Uncle Edwin takes some children snipe hunting. The girls get permission to go with the boys cousins (the younger girls and teenage boys have been taught how to shoot guns). After learning on their mountain trip about nature and folklore (such as the Christian symbolism of dogwood blossoms), they realize the adults have been laughing and hinting that snipes don't exist, but the children pretend they have caught some. The music for Jean's song for the sunrise is given at the end.
Haley, Gail E. Mountain Jack Tales. New York: Dutton, 1992.
Eight Jack tales and
"Muncimeg and the Giant"
are introduced by a storyteller named Poppyseed, based on Haley's own grandmother.
The Jack tales are "Jack and the Northwest
Wind," "The Lion and the
Unicorn," "The Longest Story," "Jack and Catherine,"
Jack and Uncle Thimblewit," "Jack and the Flying
and King Marock," "Jack and Old
Raggedy Bones." Includes a Glossary and Bibliography, as well as
discussions "About the Stories" and "About the Art" (black
and white wood engravings). (Cassette recording: Louisville,
KY: American Printing House for the Blind, 1996.) See also Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit.
Hall, Joseph S., ed. Yarns and Tales From the Great Smokies: Some Narratives From the Southern Appalachians. Asheville, NC: Cataloochee Press, 1978. Reviewed by W. K. McNeil in Appalachian Journal, vol. 8 (Autumn 1980).
Hannah, Leslie D. In the Spirit of Tahlequah: Ghost Stories from the Cherokee Nation. Tahlequah, OK. Published by the author, 1997. 96 pp. See details at AppLit's Supernatural Tales bibliography.
Harris, George Washington. Sut Luvingood: Yarns Spun by a "Nat'ral Born Durn'd Fool." New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1867.
Hensley, Judith V. Mountain Mysteries. IV, Animal Encounters. Wallins Creek, KY: Wallins Creek Press, 2012. Mountain Mysteries. V, In the Deep, Dark Hills. Wallins Creek, KY: Wallins Creek Press, 2013. Tales by students of Wallins Elementary and Junior High School, Wallins Creek, Kentucky, 2011-2013.
Henson, Michael Paul. More Kentucky Ghost Stories. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press, 1996. Includes 75 stories "of the sixth dimension," some featuring coal mines and Daniel Boone. See cover and description at Overmountain Press.
Henson, Michael Paul. Tragedy at Devil's Hollow And Other Kentucky Ghost Stories. Johnson City, TN: Overmountain Press. See cover and description at Overmountain Press.
Hicks, Orville, and Julia Taylor Ebel. Jack Tales and Mountain Yarns, As Told By Orville Hicks. Illus. Sherry Jenkins Jensen. Boone, NC: Parkway Publishers, 2009. Afterword by Thomas McGowan. 189 pp. More than twenty tales transcribed by Ebel during her extensive association with Hicks, as well as tributes and biographical material on the popular Beech Mountain storyteller. Includes photographs and many pencil drawings by Jensen. Texts of folk songs and riddles also appear, as well as stories written by Hicks that had not been told publicly, including one in his own handwriting. Some of the tales are about people and folkways in his own family history. Hicks discusses Jack and inserts comments on his favorites and his family's responses to different tales. Contains a glossary with notes on Orville's words and grammar, a study guide section with discussion questions and activities, and bibliographic material. See description related to the 2009 Aesop Accolade awarded to this book by the American Folklore Society. See also AppLit's Hicks bibliography and list of Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit.
Hicks, Ray and Lynn Salsi. The Jack Tales. Illus. Owen Smith. New York: Calloway, 2000. "Jack and the Bean Tree," "Jack and the North-West Wind," "Jack and the Robbers," with CD of Hicks telling the tales, which are edited by Salsi in the written text.
Higgs, Robert J., Ambrose N. Manning, and Jim Wayne Miller, eds. Appalachia Inside Out: A Sequel to Voices from the Hills. 2 vols. Knoxville: U of TN Pr, 1995. Essays, stories, and poems on all aspects of Appalachian studies, including folklore, humor, and education. Vol. 2, chap. 4, "Dialect and Language," contains two essays on storyteller Ray Hicks and a copy of "Whickety Whack: Death in a Sack" as told by Hicks. Examples of folklore are included in a number of sections of both volumes, especially vol. 2, chap. 3, "Folklore, Mythology, and Superstition."
Folklore Chapbook about, for, and by West Virginia Children.
Edited by Dr. Judy Byers and Noel W. Tenney,
West Virginia Folklife Center,
Fairmont State College
- see details in Appalachian Folktales
in General Collections, Journals, and Web Sites.
Hiser, Berneice T. Quare Do's in Appalachia: East Kentucky Legends and Memorats. Pikeville College Press, 1978. Includes notes on how the author collected these 30 tales by word of mouth from family and friends of eastern KY. She attempted to preserve the dialect of the teller (the "I" in each story) accurately. See AppLit's notes on Strong Women in this book.
Holstein, Susanna. Granny's Ghost Stories. Sandyville, WV: S. Holstein, 2004. WV ghost stories.
Jack Tales: A Project of the Media Working Group. Produced by a multi-media urban oral history project in the Covington, KY-Cincinnati area. This web site includes stories and poems inspired by traditional folktales of Jack and Molly/Mutsmag. Jack and Molly Tales contains a retelling of "Mutsmag" by Appalachian author Gurney Norman, "The First Time Jack Came to America" by Donald Davis, "Jack and the Three Steers" by Ray Hicks, "Jack and the Devil" (source not given), and additional background resources, including a film about the project Jack in the City. The Media Working Group web site also contains materials on folklorist Cratis Williams (no longer online 4/16)..
Jameson, W. C. Buried Treasures of the Appalachians: Legends of Homestead Caches, Indian Mines, and Loot from Civil War Raids. Little Rock: August House, 1991. 207 pp. with maps. Publisher description: "A cedar chest that had been packed with gold coins robbed from a bank just south of Lexington, Kentucky in 1860 was recovered 50 years later by a fishing guide at King''s Mill Pond. Only a handful of coins were left in the chest, which had mostly rotted away. Is the rest settled beneath the silt of the pond today? The Appalachian Mountains have witnessed untold fortunes gained and lost. The confluence and clashes of a number of cultures–Native American Indian, French, Spanish, pioneer, and Union and Confederate forces–often resulted in struggles over mineral resources or fights about stashes of gold and silver that were hidden for later retrieval. W. C. Jameson gathered his material from journals, maps, on-site research in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and from interviews with people whose lives have been entwined with the search for long lost treasures. This book contains 40 legends with accounts of caves stacked from floor to ceiling with gold ingots; of caches guarded by skeletons and curses; and of Union payrolls scattered to the four winds."
Jameson, W. C. Buried Treasures of the Ozarks and the Appalachians. New York: Promontory Press, 1993. 395 pp. with maps. Previously published in two separate volumes: Buried Treasures of the Ozarks, 1990 and Buried Treasures of the Appalachians, 1991 (see above).
Johnson, Guy. John Henry: Tracking Down a Negro Legend. Chapel Hill: U. of NC Press, 1929. A scholarly study with many versions different from Louis Chappel's (see above).
Jones, James Gay. Appalachian Ghost Stories and Other Tales. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1975. 109 pp. Preface and Introduction by Jones of Glenville State Univ., WV. He collected and retold tales from his family, friends and students. Titles include "Spooks and Ferrididdles"; "Deloris the Slave Girl"; "Ramp Power," about old men who may have been so full of ramp juice that they could not die; and "The Ghost of Zona Shue" from Greenbrier County (see also "The Greenbrier Ghost" in AppLit Study Guide WV's Appalachian Music and Literature). The publisher describes it as "a choice selection of folk stories about ghosts, true experiences, and tall tales."
Jones, James Gay. Haunted Valley and More Folk Tales of Appalachia. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1983. "A collection of intriguing ghost stories and delightful folk tales and legends of southern Appalachia. Most of those tales have authentic historical settings dating from the early days of settlement of this region to recent times" (publisher's description).
Jones, James Gay. More Appalachian Folk Stories. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1993. 104 pp. "Capture your imagination with another intriguing book by this author filled with ghost stories and folktales about Appalachia. This delightful, 'hair-raising,' book provides entertainment and an understanding for why there may be a need for ghost busters" (publisher's description).
Jones, James Gay. A Wayfaring Sin-Eater and Other Tales of Appalachia. Parsons, WV: McClain Printing, 1979. 128 pp. "Descendants of those who settled in the isolated section of mid-Appalachia have preserved a legacy. Experiences were embellished with their vivid imaginations. From this rich source of mountain lore have come the tales presented in this book" (publisher's description).
Jones, Loyal, ed. Appalachian Folk Tales. Illus. Jim Marsh. Ashland, KY: Jesse Stuart Foundation, 2010. Twelve tales by different storytellers and writers, with a Note to Parents and Teachers, a glossary, and background on the collectors and storytellers, including Leonard Roberts, James Taylor Adams, and Anne Shelby. See Folktale Collections Indexed in AppLit.
Jones, Loyal. My Curious and Jocular Heroes: Tales and Tale-Spinners from Appalachia. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 2017. "With this book, Jones introduces to new generations four scholars of Appalachian folkways who made major contributions to the arts, culture, and values of the Appalachian people. Bascom Lamar Lunsford, born in North Carolina, collected ballads, songs, tunes, and stories--before there were tape recorders--by committing them all to memory and later recording his 'memory collection' for Columbia University (1935) and the Library of Congress (1949). Josiah H. Combs, a Kentuckian who got a doctorate at the Sorbonne, taught languages, collected stories and songs, gave ballad recitals, was an authority on Kentucky mountain speech, and was a great raconteur. Cratis D. Williams, another Kentuckian, was the father of Appalachian studies based on his massive dissertation, The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction. He was a scholar and teacher, a singer of the old ballads, and teller of folk tales. He became Jones's treasured mentor. And the master storyteller Leonard W. Roberts, also born in Kentucky, was a pioneer collector and publisher of Old World folktales, riddles, ballads, and lyric songs, too. Beyond mere biography, this book introduces the reader to some of the lore preserved and performed by Lunsford, Combs, Williams, and Roberts throughout their lives. The end of each biographical chapter is filled with collected stories, songs, and jokes representing the breadth of each man's research and repertoire." Jones' Introduction warns that he has "included several suggestive or obscene songs, stories, articles, and jokes," which he finds to be "funny and revealing about these four Appalachian scholars and performers, and also about the human race." Tales reprinted include Lunsford's "Where's My Big Toe?" (see "Tailypo") and Roberts' "Raglif Jaglif Tetartlif Pole."
Jones, Loyal. The Preacher Joke Book: Religious Anecdotes from the Oral Tradition. Little Rock: August House, 1989.
Jones, Loyal, and Billy Edd Wheeler. Curing the Cross-Eyed Mule: Appalachian Mountain Humor. Little Rock: August House, 1989. Fifteen tales including notes on tale type and source credit, where possible.
Jones, Loyal and Billy Edd Wheeler. Laughter in Appalachia: A Festival of Southern Mountain Humor. Little Rock: August House, 1987. Short anecdotes and jokes thematically arranged with essays by both authors as well as Robert J. Higgs and W. Gordon Ross.
Jones, Loyal and Billy Edd Wheeler. More Laughter in Appalachia: Southern Mountain Humor. Little Rock: August House, 1995. The fourth collection by this pair, including "humorous jokes, anecdotes, poems, riddles, and songs, not to mention a nineteenth-century sermon, a backwoods political speech, and a comical arrest warrant" (back cover). Contains material they collected from a variety of sources, including school children in Kentucky, and celebrities such as Chet Atkins and Minnie Pearl. Includes Introduction on rural humor and two 1993 essays: "The Laughing Snake" by Jim Wayne Miller and "Taking Laughter Seriously" by Howard R. Pollio.
Justus, May. Children of the Great Smoky Mountains. Illus. Robert Henneberger. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1952. The 16 stories are not folktales, but mountain folkways are included in each realistic story, especially folk songs and ballads but also riddles, quilting, holiday traditions, food, and folk beliefs. See summary at this link.
Justus, May. The Complete Pedlar's Pack: Games, Songs, Rhymes, and Riddles from Mountain Folklore. Illus Jean Tamburine. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press. 1967. 87 pp. The introduction by Edwin C. Kirkland praises the authenticity and beauty of this book because, unlike collections by outsiders, this one comes from Justus' memories of family life in the Great Smoky Mountains and her pride in her native culture. Justus writes that she "learned from my family, kinfolk, friends, and schoolmates" (xi). Her mother sang the songs she had learned from her English mother, and her father played the fiddle. She calls the book "a miscellany of fun and fancy belonging to the mountain region marked by the peddler's path" (xii). She gives sources for those she could remember, such as nonsense rhymes from Pig Trot School, near Bridgeport, TN, where she attended 1905-12. Musical notations and line drawings are included. AppLit Essay on May Justus as Popular Educator.
Justus, May. It Happened in No-End Hollow. Illus. Mimi Korach. Champaign, IL: Garrard Pub.,1968. 48 pp. Three humorous traditional tales from the Great Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee: "Old Ben Bailey Meets his Match," "Little Lihu's Lucky Day," and "Don't Be a Silly-Billy." More details at AppLit's Folktale Picture Book Bibliography.
Justus, May Tales from Near-Side and Far. Illus. Herman B. Vestal. Champaign, IL: Garrard Pub., 1970. 63 pp. Introduced by the publisher, like others in this series, as "American Folk Tales [that] are colorful tales of regional origin full of the local flavor and grass roots humor of special people and places." These are not wonder tales but four realistic family tales with traces of folklore roots. More details at Appalachian Folktale Picture Book Bibliography.
Go to Appalachian Folktale Collections K - Z
See also Folklore section of Appalachian Studies Association Bibliography.
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